Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Bowlers, the ball is in your court (hands!).

Here it comes... the crunch!
With Pontings quick declaration on day 4, the question begs to be asked, can the Aussies make the definitive statement- WE ARE BACK!

The SCG test win may have just been the RSA displaying that typical anomaly- the dead rubber loss. The first South African test displayed to me that the more complete changes made by the selectors have created the nucleus of a competative team; made all the more impressive by Johnson's continued ability to lead the bowling attack, and with Siddle just getting better innings by innings too.

So now we have had the aforementioned players performing, Hughes with back-to-back tons and the team poised to take the series if they can take 7 wickets on the last day. It looks like nearly everyone in team is pulling their weight; a nice change from having bowlers batting better than most of the batsmen, and part time bowlers taking wickets!

Day 4 was hardly the best for cricket viewing: 244 RSA runs and 2 wickets. With Smiths mangled hand, day 5 needs either 302 runs or 7 wickets must fall. On the face of it (if you use the previous day as a benchmark as to how the wicket is playing out), the match looks like fizzing out to a draw... unless this new found Australian bowling structure takes control. There is still plenty within the RSA batting line up- particularly with Kallis and DeVilliers at the crease- but this match, and the series, is really there to be won by the Aussie bowlers, in 3 session or less.

As an Australian, and one that has pushed for team change, i would like to think they can produce a win- preferably in the last session, just to tease it out for viewers/fans/and to break the hearts of the South Africans!

stoph verismo


  1. It would be even better if it was over in the first 2 overs of the day.

  2. And Katich gets a bowl - by crikey look what happens!

    To all those who have merely wanted to denigrate the Aus team, with no realistic or insightful suggestions for improvements - stick a series win in RSA up your Kyber Pass.

    Well done Ponting and co. Two consistent performances with bat and ball have resulted in two test victories. Perhaps the clean slate approach has eroded any self-doubt and replaced it with confidence. Certainly this team has looked like one with belief in itself. In comparison RSA has looked flat and vulnerable. Prince will add to the stability; however, this is more than offset by Smith remaining out and a bowling attack that's been lacklustre.

    It may well be my love of cricket and the Aus team that brings about my unabated joy from this win; but HOW @#%&ING GOOD IS THIS?!? I think the greatest strength Aus has now is the group of players that are not in this 11 but on the fringe. The applies most to the bowling department I believe; which makes it all the more exciting as taking 20 wickets was our biggest problem. Bollinger, Clark, Lee etc would likely make most countries' first 11 and now they have to prove their worth with a solid unit performing well. Hilfy may be in trouble but will go to Eng, Ron will likely be the Brad Hodge of Aus cricket unless he can show some form with the bat. Hughes will have to sleep with Boonie's wife to get discarded; but even then I reckon Bonnie might crack a VB with him and remark that it's happened before.

    While this may be unfair to RSA I think we've seen the big difference between the current tour and the recent one in Aus. No 76 from a lower order batsman (Steyn) and heroics from Duminy have left RSA a little short. I've always thought RSA played out of their skins over here, while Aus couldn't get their shite together at the key moments. I'm bemused by commentators stating RSA comprehensively beat Aus over here; from memory there was no innings defeat, or 10 wicket win. The series was 2-1 as I recall. Their run chase was exemplary - no doubt. But the tone was such that one could have thought there was a difference similar to that between India and Kenya. One of the most satisfying things about these two tests is that there are still under-performers (yes you Hussey). This is what made Aus unbeatable for so long; someone would always stand up and take the game away from the opposition. We may have been 4 for 75 but would be 4 for 300 a few hours later. The only centurions for Aus so far have been two debutants; this is a great sign indeed!

    For RSA all is not lost - if they believe otherwise they will reap what they sow. Dropping Mackenzie and Morkel are wise moves. Mackenzie because he is crap and you can't have a crap batsman taking the new ball. Morkel because he has got to learn that you need to be consistent and he's young enough to bounce back. Their biggest concern is Steyn I think. I don't think he has answers when things aren't going according to his plan. Compare this with Siddle who seems to find a way through any batsman (he's got Duminy in the palm of his hand). I think RSA will play with a great deal more resolve in the first innings of the last test (they have to or will be destroyed), but I wouldn't be surprised by a four day result in Aus' favour. I think Mcgain should get a trundle - not because it's a dead rubber (it's not as far as I'm concerned; it's 3-2) but it's odd to take a frontline spinner and not play him at all when you are obviously looking for over 20 overs in a day from spin. Sorry Ron - give Hodge a call; he'll tell you that cricket sucks. Get used to it.

  3. great post LRO, and today's winner of the POTD (for total content, not just the Hughes/Boon comment! thanks as that is the perfect match round-up and saves me doing one.

    Punter wanted Kat to bowl over here but he declined due to neck strain (i think) i know he is effective in NSW, it would be awesome to have that in permanent reserve.

    beware the ides of March- as we know, dead rubbers are notorious for seeing the series winner lose! Still, McGain needs the match time.

    McKenzie must be related to a selector (i know his dad played) to have stayed in so long given he is so crap! Good riddance to bad rubbish and a blight on the game.

    anyone that called the RSA series win comprehensive seems to have overlooked the fact that every test went 5 days with the result unsure and the dominant position swinging at the end of each day (apart from maybe MCG test).

    stoph verismo